The whoops, apparently from a lone supporter, escalate as Brown criticizes Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American heritage.
Brown doesn’t react in the brief clip. It’s not clear that Brown even heard the person.
The video, recorded at a Republican fundraiser in Chatham over the summer, was posted by the Democrat-leaning Blue Mass Group Wednesday.
Local Anti-Elizabeth Warren Sign Ridicules Her as ‘Princess Little Big Liar’
The signs state: “Elizabeth Warren is a joke. Princess Little Big Liar. Vote Scott Brown United States Senate,” criticizing the U.S. Senate candidate for her claimed Cherokee and Dakota heritage. Indian Country Today Media Network’s Rob Capriccioso has written extensively about Warren’s claim, including a story about the Senate debate.
“We’re $16 trillion dollars in debt and these politicians don’t seem to care and somebody’s got to pay the tab, right?” Sullivan told the local newspaper.
Sullivan is also the man behind controversial anti-Obama ads. On one placard, a young girl gives the middle finger to the President. The other displays President Obama’s photo beside the remarks: “Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot. Obama One Big Ass Mistake America, Vote Mitt Romney for 2012!”
Response from Indians
NCAI Characterizes Massachusetts Senate Campaign as “Extremely Disturbing”
National tribal organization calls for civil discourse and immediate stop to politicization of Native identity
The video footage of Senator Brown’s staff engaged in ‘war whooping’ and ‘tomahawk chopping’ is not only offensive and demeaning to Native Americans it is also demoralizing to citizens across the country. It’s concerning that experienced staff members of a United States Senator would act this way; Senator Brown should take corrective action immediately. These actions belittle the democratic process and are emblematic of an irresponsible public discourse on race and Native identity by misinformed individuals and the media.
Elizabeth Warren also bears responsibility for allowing the public discourse about Native identity to become misrepresented. She has every right to be proud of her family, however her campaign failed to educate a non-Native media and the public unfamiliar with federal tribal enrollment rules or about historic federal policies that make proving Native ancestry very difficult for some people. Finally, Warren’s campaign did not respond to requests for interviews from Native media organizations. All of these actions could have gone a long way to reducing tension and increasing awareness.
The video released of Brown’s staffers comes just days after Senator Brown responded to a question during the opening of a September 20, 2012 televised debate between the two candidates in which he referred to Warren’s white skin color as proof that she is not of Native American descent in response to an opening question about character, “I think character is important…what you are referring to is the fact that Professor Warren claimed she is a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she is not.”
Skin color or physical appearance has no bearing on one’s Native American heritage or status as an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. As a result, numerous national television programs and websites have irresponsibly echoed Senator Brown’s statements by referring to someone’s skin color as an indicator for Native American identity. These claims are false and Senator Brown should correct the record and retract his statement immediately.
NCAI is concerned by the negative and racially charged statements and actions that are the result of the politicization of the issue of Native ancestry. This issue has no bearing on the qualifications to be the Senator of Massachusetts.
Native American peoples have long endured discrimination and we will not tolerate, nor should the American people tolerate, a return to hostile environments or ignorant discourse about America’s first peoples. Nor should we tolerate a hostile environment about a common characteristic many people share, a connection to Native American ancestry.
Today, Native people are proud of our ancestors, our place in the American family of governments, and we will not stand for irresponsible behavior or public discourse.
Let's add that it's not clear Warren has lied about anything. By all accounts, she sincerely believes her family legends whether they're true or not.
It's not a lie to stick with a belief even if you have no evidence for it. If that weren't the case, a few billion people would be "liars" for believing in their religion.
For more on Elizabeth Warren, see Why Brown and Warren Are Wrong and Cherokee Chief Denounces Brown Staffers.